As regular readers know, I sometimes stray away from the mainstay topic of this blog — film — into music of all kinds. Obviously, the two have been tied since film’s birth. One aspect of both industries that has fascinated me for some time is the odd relationship between the U.S. and the U.K., our highly influential older siblings with the cool accents, who seem to have even cooler record collections, more avant-garde taste in movies, and cutting-edge fashion senses. And yet, for every British artist in any medium that slays Stateside, either by popularity or influence — and the list of those is endless — there are some, for whatever reason, that just don’t click. This is also true of celebrity/entertainment culture in general…some U.K. celebs cross the pond to become household names in the U.S….and others just don’t catch on here. For every Graham Norton or Ricky Gervais, there’s a Cheryl Cole or Robbie Williams.
I’m not sure which category Alesha Dixon will fall into, or if she’s even interested in U.S. success, but at the moment, she is one of the most recognizable women on U.K. television. As an admired presenter and judge on prime-time shows, she’s known to millions of viewers, as well as being a talented singer and dancer, lending her more versatility and overall credibility than many others in the “unscripted” field.
Her rise to the top was slow but steady, and not without setbacks. But the long road to superstardom has been worth it; she’s now a darling of the British public. Her journey from Hertfordshire girl to grime MC to nation’s sweetheart is an interesting one…
Continue reading “The Rise and Rise of Alesha Dixon”
By Jack Deth
Greetings all and sundry!
Having taken advantage of the much-hyped East Coast Snow Storm, and watched from my 23rd floor balcony as the surface dwellers dug themselves out, I’ve had time to contemplate the films of 1987 and their standing with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
A year sadly near void of the earlier risk takers and “All In!” gamblers of the previous decade, with many of the Academy choices leading toward less controversial, more palatable fare. So, keeping that in mind, allow me a few moments of your time to explore, excavate, and investigate the confusing, sometimes annoying choices of…
The 60th Academy Awards: Playing It Safe!
According to Box Office Mojo, a neat little reference source which proves useful in this treatise, 1987 was a rather prosperous year for film. With 238 entrants through the year, from the sublime (The Princess Bride) to the ridiculous (Ishtar, Real Men, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown), lots of diversions and variants in-between, and a surprising number of films in its Top 25 films nominated for Oscars.
For those uninitiated, I’ll be laying out this amalgam in the same way I’ve presented earlier critiques of the Academy’s decisions, entailing “The Top Six” categories, taking a “Top Down” perspective, plus a few personal bones to pick in the lower tiers.
So, without further ado, let’s start with the contenders for….
Continue reading “31 Days of Oscar: The Films of 1987”
While scrutinizing this year’s official Academy Award class photo, my eye was immediately drawn to red…not just those few actresses wearing scarlet-hued dresses, but also the neon crimson hair of costume designer Sandy Powell. It’s appropriate that color would draw the eye to her, as she used it to create some of this year’s most stunning and effective costume designs, including the instant classic Cinderella gown made up of many layers of painstakingly dyed blue fabrics. She is pitted against herself with two 2015 nominations, one for Carol, the other for Cinderella. Not so coincidentally, in both she dressed Cate Blanchett. The last time the two worked together, for 2004’s The Aviator, both took home Oscars (Blanchett for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn).
Continue reading “31 Days of Oscar- THE CRAFTS: Costume Designer Sandy Powell”
We’re now just past the halfway point of both Turner Classic Movies channel’s Academy Awards tribute, 31 DAYS OF OSCAR, and the 31 DAYS OF OSCAR Blogathon, hosted annually by myself here at Paula’s Cinema Club, Kellee of Outspoken and Freckled, and Aurora at Once Upon A Screen.
This week we salute the less renowned, but nonetheless essential, disciplines of movie-making…THE CRAFTS. Those who practice them are below the title in billing yet are decidedly indispensable to the overall effect of a film. Check out the fabulous Week 3 posts after the jump!
Continue reading “31 Days of Oscar, Week 3: THE CRAFTS”
Week 2 of the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon examines THE SNUBS…great posts here, check them out….
Source: OSCAR SNUBS of the 31 Days Of Oscar Blogathon are here!
“I’m very enthusiastic about the Academy Awards because if there were no Oscars, we wouldn’t have as many good movies as we do have.” – Robert Osborne
The Oscars — both maligned and praised — are always cause for celebration and we’re here to do just that.
For the fourth consecutive year Paula’s Cinema Club (my Twitter handle @Paula_Guthat) joins forces with Kellee (@IrishJayHawk66) of Outspoken & Freckled and Aurora (@CitizenScreen) of Once Upon A Screen for the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon, running February 6-27, 2016. We started this event to coincide with Turner Classic Movie’s 31 Days of Oscar marathon, during which the network shines the spotlight on the storied history of the Academy Awards. All the deets, including participating blogs & their chosen topics, after the jump…
Continue reading “Announcing the 31 Days of Oscar 2016 Blogathon”
I totally ran out of time for a year-end music post in 2014 (the last one was published in 2013), but they are just too much fun to put together, so here’s the 2015 edition. The cutoff is 50 or more plays (as in previous years, the source here is my iTunes). These are songs that I loved this year; though some were released before 2015, but almost all of these reached triple-digit plays. I don’t do a lot of description of these, they are in no particular order, and linking instead of embedding is not indicative of preference (it just means I couldn’t get it to embed). I feel like if you actually take a chance by clicking and listening to the songs, you’ll hear why they made the list. There’s a WTF factor to some of my choices, so go ahead…read on and judge away after the jump. You can also check out the 2012 list.
Continue reading “Top 30 (more or less) tunes of 2015”
While speculation about possible Oscar nominations has been going on for months, the 2015-16 Awards Season officially kicked off this past Monday (Nov. 30) when the Gotham Awards for the best films and performances of 2015 were announced. Then yesterday, the National Board of Review chimed in with somewhat surprising trophies of their own.
As someone who loves movies, and has perhaps taken that love a little too far, I follow the industry’s proceedings with the same zeal as a fantasy league player going for a million dollar pool. This is the second year in a row that I’ve put together this schedule of important awards dates. Having done that, I figured why not gussy it up a bit and share it with the world. So here is my downloadable, printable, hyperlinked PDF. Some of the more important days are indicated with dark red and link to the relevant URL; the dates that awards are actually bestowed are in bolder type. That’s right, they’re clickable! If there’s a broken or incorrect link, of course let me know.
Continue reading “Follow the 2015-16 Awards Season with my downloadable schedule”